The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program: What Ohioans Need To Know

In the United States, thirty states have now legalized medical marijuana. One of the first states to legalize marijuana for medical use was Colorado – and that happened 18 years ago. Now Ohio has also taken on medical marijuana.

In 2015, a poll showed that over 90 percent of Ohioans were ready to support the legalization of medical marijuana. And in 2016, House Bill 523 passed, signed by Governor John Kasich, legalizing medicinal use of marijuana in Ohio.

Though the bill was approved already in 2016, in reality, possession, usage, and purchase became available only recently in 2018 after the dispensaries were picked.

The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program

On September 8th, 2016, Ohio legalized medical marijuana. According to Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, people with certain medical conditions are allowed to purchase marijuana for medicinal use.

In order to be allowed to make the purchase and use medicinal marijuana, the patient needs a recommendation from an Ohio-licensed physician who is certified by the State Medical Board. The doctor must also have a certificate to recommend in order to recommend medical marijuana as a treatment.

Also, medical marijuana is only recommended to people with one or more of 21 listed conditions. These conditions include for example hepatitis C, HIV, cancer, glaucoma, fibromyalgia, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury. In addition, you must be 18 years of age, live in Ohio and you can possess only 90-days supply at a time.

Ohio Medical Marijuana: What The Law Says

Ohio has learned from mistakes that other states have made after legalizing medical marijuana. For instance in Colorado, 90-95 percent of people who obtained a medical marijuana card, was suffering from pain mostly in their back.

Also, marijuana dispensaries in Colorado outnumbered McDonald’s and Starbucks – combined. Ohio wants to avoid the misuse of medical marijuana and won’t allow such saturation, as only 56 dispensaries are allowed across the entire state.

In order to be able to purchase medicinal marijuana in Ohio, you must have a medical marijuana card. To obtain this card, you must first visit an Ohio-licensed physician. So for example, you will not be able to visit a California-licensed doctor and use their recommendation to obtain a medical marijuana card.

If you suffer from one or more of the 21 conditions on the list, your physician may recommend you get a medical marijuana card. However, this alone is not enough to get the card: after your visit, your doctor will submit a recommendation to the State Pharmacy Board.

The board will then make a decision to approve or decline the card. In other words, your doctor will not be able to directly prescribe medical marijuana for you.

When your card is approved, you will be able to purchase, possess and use medical marijuana in Ohio. However, you are only allowed to purchase vapes, oils, balms, edibles, and tinctures. Smoking is forbidden.

Also, you are not allowed to grow marijuana yourself or use marijuana in public. You are also not allowed to take your marijuana across the state borders or purchase marijuana in other states using your medical marijuana card. This may change in the future, but as of right now, it remains illegal.

What Are The Conditions To Qualify For A Medical Marijuana Card In Ohio?

To use medical marijuana in Ohio, you must be suffering from one or more of 21 conditions on the list. This strict list is made to prevent misuse of medical marijuana in the state of Ohio. Also, in order to obtain a medical marijuana card, your physician must recommend it to you via the State Pharmacy Board. The recommendation must be based on the conditions listed below.

List Of Qualifying Conditions:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Intractable Pain
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Epilepsy, and other seizure disorders
  • Hepatitis C
  • AIDS
  • Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Spinal Cord Disease or Injury
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • HIV
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • Chronic Pain
  • Glaucoma

The State Pharmacy Board has left open a possibility to add other conditions in the future if it becomes necessary.

I Have A Condition, How Do I Get Approved?

If you are suffering from one or more of the conditions listed above, you may be eligible for a medical marijuana card in Ohio. The process is fairly simple: book an appointment with an Ohio-licensed physician, visit your doctor and wait for the approval from the State Pharmacy Board.

After you’re approved and you have received your medical marijuana card, you will be able to purchase and use medical marijuana in Ohio. You can purchase marijuana from 56 dispensaries across the state.

What is an Ohio Medical Marijuana Card?

With Ohio medical marijuana card, you will be able to purchase and use medicinal marijuana from dispensaries across Ohio state. Without the card, using of medicinal marijuana is forbidden. To obtain this card, you must first visit your Ohio-licensed doctor who will determine if you qualify for a medical marijuana card.

To qualify for the card, you must be suffering from one or more of the approved 21 medical conditions. After your doctor has made the recommendation for the State Pharmacy Board, you will wait for your approval. Once approved, you can start making purchases and use medicinal marijuana in your own home. Use of medicinal marijuana in Ohio in public is still illegal.

Ohio medical marijuana card demonstrates, that you have been approved to use medical marijuana by your physician and that your name has been added to the Medical Marijuana Registry. This also provides you with legal protection.

Ohio Marijuana Dispensaries

After the House Bill 523 was passed on September 8th, 2016, it became legal to use medical marijuana in Ohio. However, you are only allowed to purchase it if you own a medical marijuana card. With the card, you will be able to buy marijuana from dispensaries across the state.

Because a decade ago in Colorado marijuana dispensaries outnumbered McDonald’s and Starbucks combined, Ohio decided to learn from Colorado’s mistake. Ohio State does not want this type of saturation to happen, so Ohio allows only 56 dispensaries across the entire state.

The Dayton-Springfield-Cincinnati area got 12 dispensaries, whereas Montgomery, Greene, Butler, Warren, Clark and Hamilton counties share the rest of the 56 dispensaries locally in their areas. A total of 376 dispensary applications were sent for approval – from which the state picked 56 winners.

Ohio Legal Protection

Ohio Medical Marijuana

To obtain legal protection of the Ohio State Medical Marijuana law, all approved and qualified medicinal marijuana patients must be registered with the Ohio medical marijuana program. This means that each patient has to own a medical marijuana card approved by the Ohio State Pharmacy Board. In this case, you are allowed to possess a 90-day supply of medical marijuana.

Medical Marijuana Access In Other States

There are currently 30 states in the United States that have approved the use of medicinal marijuana. However, use, purchase, and possession of marijuana are still illegal on a Federal Level. This means, that if you do own a medicinal marijuana card from your state, you’re still not allowed to bring marijuana across the border of your state.

Also, you can only purchase medical marijuana using the medical marijuana card within the state that you’re registered with. So for example, if you have an Ohio medical marijuana card, you will not be allowed to purchase, use or possess marijuana in California or Colorado. This might change in the future.

Medical Marijuana Doctors In Ohio

Doctors in Ohio state cannot write a prescription for medical marijuana. They can only recommend it and submit your recommendation to the State Pharmacy Board for approval. Not all doctors are allowed to recommend medical marijuana in Ohio. In order for a doctor to recommend medical marijuana in Ohio, they must have a certificate to recommend.

You can see the current list of approved and certified Ohio-licensed physicians to book an appointment with any of these doctors, you can get your medical marijuana card approval started.

Usage of Medical Marijuana in Ohio To Be Stricter Than Other States

Medical marijuana is not a regular drug, but rather a drug that has no proven effects, which is why its usage is so strictly regulated. Ohio has learned from other state’s mistakes, such as Colorado’s, and they are regulating the usage, purchase, and possession of medical marijuana more than many other states.

It’s still a question mark, whether Ohio’s strict regulations will uphold – that will remain to be seen.

Farma Health Desk Editor

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